3D & 4D Ultrasounds – What to consider and when is the best time to have 3D/4D Scans

3D & 4D Ultrasounds – What to consider and when is the best time to have 3D/4D Scans

Expectant parents often get anxious to see their growing baby in the belly; after all, nine months is a long time to wait to get a glimpse of those tiny fingers and toes. Years ago, parents had to wait full 40 weeks to get the first look for their baby. But now, with the evolving technologies for ultrasound scans, 3D and 4D ultrasounds are becoming more prominent. Parents can get remarkable images of their developing baby and experience the excitement of seeing detailed images of the baby throughout the journey. Getting your first 3D or 4D scan is truly a wonderful experience for any expectant parent. No words can describe the joy of would be mother after seeing her baby for the first time.

The early ultrasounds can only provide a satisfactory 2D image of the baby, whereas the 4D ultrasounds allow you to see your unborn baby in even more depth and detail. If you opt to get your 4D ultrasound scan too early, then the fetus will not have a developed structure, and thus you will not get the desired results. For the parents who are eager to get the exceptional 3D/4D images or videos of their little one, it is recommended to get scanned between 26th to 32nd weeks for the best results. During this period, the baby grows and gains weight. After the 30th week of pregnancy, the baby starts becoming smushed, and their face presses up against the uterus or placenta, leading to only blurry images. There are many other factors that might affect the kind of scanned images of the baby. The sonographer might ask you to move around to try different angles, but the position of the baby, density of the tissues, fluid level, etc., impact the overall picture quality.

Here at Digibaby, we offer 3D, 4D, HD LIVE scans from the 15th to the 33rd week of pregnancy. However, we recommend 26th to 31st week as the best time for the 4D scan during pregnancy. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that you will not get satisfactory results before or after the 26th to 31st week. Every pregnancy is different, and thus, the situation for capturing the images of the baby also changes. So, before you go for your ultrasound test, it is essential to understand 3D/4D sonograms to ensure if the baby is safe and healthy.

Here in this blog, we will discuss the essential things to consider before going for a 3D/4D ultrasound that will help in getting the best pictures possible.

What are 3D and 4D ultrasound tests?

It is natural to get excited to see the results of your first pregnancy ultrasound test. 3D scans help to get the still images of the baby in three dimensions during pregnancy. At the same time, the 4D ultrasound shows 3D images of the baby, with time being the fourth dimension. Some parents might find the standard 2D scans a bit disappointing because of their grey, blurred outline. In 3D and 4D ultrasound, you get to see your baby’s skin, the shape of their mouth and nose, or you may also spot the baby’s yawning. The 3D and 4D ultrasound images are obtained from the sections of 2D images converted into a single image, and thus, they are safe as well. These tests can take as long as 45 minutes to an hour. 3D and 4D ultrasounds provide more information about your baby and also tell the abnormalities (if any). These scans show more details than the standard 2D ultrasound; it helps the doctors diagnose the cleft lip. It allows the doctors to plan proper treatment for repairing the baby’s cleft lip after their birth. You can also look at the heart and other internal organs with the help of 3D ultrasounds.

Any ultrasound test should only be done by a trained professional for a shorter time with the lowest intensity possible. You can also ask for the recording of the scan from the 3D/4D ultrasound clinic. The transducer and systems required for doing the 4D scans are expensive. If you decide to go for the 3D/4D ultrasound, then the duration between the 26th to 32nd week is the best. Before the 25th or 26th week, the baby has very little fat under the skin, and thus, you will only get to see the bones of her face. After the 30th week, the baby’s head might go deep down into the pelvis, and thus, you may not be able to see their face properly.

Reasons to go for an ultrasound during pregnancy

Depending upon your pregnancy trimester, there are many reasons why ultrasounds are important during pregnancy –

  1. Confirming the estimated due date for your delivery
  2. Checking the baby’s heartbeat
  3. Verifying if the pregnancy is not ectopic (i.e., in the fallopian tubes) and is in the uterus
  4. To confirm the number of babies in the uterus
  5. Ensuring the development and the growth of the baby
  6. Checking and measuring the major organs of your baby
  7. Determining the size of the baby
  8. Ensuring the amniotic fluid level
  9. Confirming the congenital disabilities or disorders (if any)
  10. Determining the gender of the baby
  11. Letting parents see the glimpse of their baby and reassuring them that everything going under control during pregnancy

The purpose of having 3D ultrasound scans

A 3D (third dimensional) ultrasound test is done to obtain detailed pictures of a baby. The images from the 3D scan are orange and golden in color, which gives the details of the baby’s eyes, nose, face, mouth, etc. It is also helpful for looking at the heart and other internal organs as well. Clinics performing 3D scans only do them when it is medically necessary.

The purpose of performing 4D ultrasound scans

4D (fourth dimensional) ultrasound scans help capture the video of your moving baby, yawning, or evening smiling in the womb. The only difference between the two scans is that in the 3D scan, you get the picture, whereas, in the 4D scan, the results are shown in an actual video.

3D or 4D ultrasound results you can get during different weeks

  • 13th to 18th week –

If you go for your 3D/4D ultrasound scan at this time, you will be able to see your entire baby on the screen from head to toe at once. The baby is usually active during this stage of pregnancy. Thus, you can see your baby kicking, stretching, waving, etc. You can also see the facial features forming (not the elaborated ones) at this stage of pregnancy.

  • 19th to 26th week –

As the weeks pass by, the facial features of the baby develop in great detail. The only problem with this stage is that the babies are often still breech, which is not ideal for the 3D or 4D ultrasound.

  • 27th to 40th week –

By this time, your baby has been filling out nicely. It is the ideal time for getting close facial shots of the baby with unique details. The baby will more likely be head down, which makes visualizing much easier. As you approach close to your 40th week of pregnancy (37th week or later), getting the facial images becomes challenging because the baby grows too large and overcrowded the uterus. But as mentioned above, not all pregnancies are the same. So, there are times where some mothers close to 40th week have achieved beautifully detailed images.

3D & 4D Ultrasounds – What to consider and when is the best time to have 3D/4D Scans

Tips to consider before going for your 4D ultrasound test during pregnancy

      I.  Know the healthcare provider who is scanning you –

Whenever choosing the doctor for your ultrasound tests, make sure to ask what type of education and training they have. Choosing a sonographer with proper multi-year qualifications and experience in obstetrician and gynecology would be best. It helps the parents to be at peace of mind and allows them to get reliable imaging. You can ask the person performing your ultrasound whether they have the RDMS certification (Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer).

     II.  When to go for the pregnancy ultrasound test –

The most common question that comes to parents’ minds is considering the right time for doing the ultrasound test during pregnancy. If you are interested in knowing the gender of your baby, then it can be easily done after 16 weeks of pregnancy. By this time, you can see your baby’s growth and development effortlessly. During the 24th and 26th weeks, the facial features of your baby become more defined. If you only want to have one elective 3D/4D ultrasound, then the best time is to go between the 27th to 32nd week. During the 33rd to 37th week, getting the desired facial pictures of the baby through 4D ultrasound becomes challenging because the baby gets more significant and may start to drop.

   III.   Drink plenty of fluids on the day of ultrasound –

Drink as much water as you can on the day you are going for the ultrasound. It is the most crucial factor that helps determine the quality of the pictures on the baby during the ultrasound. Drinking plenty of water increases the quality and clarity of your amniotic fluid, which acts as the window for seeing your baby on the computer screen. Though there is no need to have a full bladder for the ultrasound scan, you can use the restrooms often and drink up water gradually.

   IV.  Eat your food before the appointment –

You can have something light for your meals, such as a sandwich, salad, small bowl of rice or pasta, etc., about an hour before your appointment. It helps in making your baby a little more active.

    V.  Drink a glass of any fruit juice –

Drinking a glass of orange juice, apple juice, etc., helps the baby become more active in the womb. Drinking juice is always better than having a glass of soda. Though the caffeine in the soda makes the baby more active, it also harms the fluid levels. The natural sugar in juices helps create a longer active period for the baby, ideal for the ultrasound scan. So, try drinking a glass of juice about 30 minutes before your appointments.

   VI.  Wearing loose-fitting clothes for ultrasound –

Make sure to wear comfortable and relaxing clothes for the ultrasound test since ultrasounds can take up to an hour. Moreover, loosely fitted clothes also help the doctor to perform the scan efficiently. Generally, whenever you visit an ultrasound clinic, you are given a set of loose hospital gowns. But if it is not the case, wear your pants slightly below your hips during the ultrasound. 


Ways to encourage the movement of your baby during a 4D scan

Do you want to capture the proper movement of your baby during your 4D ultrasound?

Here are a few ways to encourage your baby’s movement –

  • Sugar stimulation is a great way to promote the activity of the baby in the uterus. Eating a bar of chocolate or having a glass of natural fruit juice before your scan gives your baby a burst of hyper activeness.
  • Doctors generally recommend the pregnant lady have a full bladder before the 4D ultrasound. If your baby’s head is pointed downwards, they might decide to play hide-and-seek, and their head might be there in your pelvic area. An inflated bladder is good and helps prevent this situation by lifting the baby’s head into a better capturing position.
  • Walking a bit before the scan also helps adequately capture your baby’s movement during the 4D pregnancy ultrasound test.

Getting the help of professionals for 3D/4D ultrasound at Digibaby

Are you thinking about where to find the best 4D or 3D ultrasound test during pregnancy?

We are here to offer the best affordable, high-quality, elective 2D/3D/4D/HD LIVE ultrasounds in Livermore, Woodridge, and Mesa. Consult the professional team at Digibaby 3D/4D Ultrasound to have a fantastic experience of seeing your baby on the screen. We have an unmatched record of ultrasound transducers, including 3D/4D. Get in touch with us to book your ultrasound appointment now.

For more details or queries, you can mail us at